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Popular Articles

September/October 2016 Inspectioneering Journal
By Greg Alvarado at Inspectioneering Journal

Risk-based inspection (RBI) programs and processes are front and center, both as a challenge to get it right, and as an integral tool and process to help us achieve success in risk management and equipment reliability. It has to be implemented, maintained, sustained, and in a state of continuous improvement over time in order to achieve the desired results.

Detecting and Quantifying Cracks Using Eddy Current Array
September/October 2016 Inspectioneering Journal
By Kimberley Hayes at Olympus

Detecting, quantifying, and sizing indications characterized as a “crack” in critical equipment have long been the global benchmark of asset integrity programs. Therefore, the increased precision that inspection programs obtain using advanced technologies can dynamically improve the overall assessment.

Remote Integrity Monitoring of High Criticality Equipment in Real Time
September/October 2016 Inspectioneering Journal
By Dr. Jake Davies at Permasense Ltd.

Remote monitoring solutions are making it possible to avoid sending personnel into harsh environments without forgoing the essential data gathering that keeps assets safely operating.

The Hierarchy of a Fixed Equipment Asset Integrity Management Program
September/October 2016 Inspectioneering Journal
By John Reynolds at Intertek

Did you ever wonder where you fit into the entire hierarchy of a fixed equipment asset integrity management (FE-AIM) program? Or who is responsible and accountable for what aspects of FE-AIM at your site? All the way from top management down to those doing the work at the field level? That’s what I will try to address in this article.

Auto-Ignition of Ultrasonic Couplants During Thickness Gauging and Corrosion Mapping
July/August 2016 Inspectioneering Journal
By Gene Larson at ECHO Ultrasonics

This article details the basis for the lack of understanding about the potential for ultrasonic couplant auto-ignition and outlines an ALARP operating practice for mitigation.

Embracing a New Approach to Retroactive PMI
July/August 2016 Inspectioneering Journal
By Brian Wilson at Thermo Fisher Scientific

The instrumentation available to detect inadvertent material substitutions through positive material identification (PMI) has never been more available, portable or powerful than it is today. For one industrial services company, Tacten Industrial, Inc., embracing the latest technological advances in PMI while using rope access to conduct inspections has helped to transform their business. It has found the ideal formula for retroactive PMI that allows its team and its clients to rest assured that they’ve conducted their testing right – the first time.

Choosing the Right Smart Pigging Technology – Lessons Learned
September/October 2016 Inspectioneering Journal
By Tim Haugen at Quest Integrity Group

Although all ultrasonic smart pigging providers claim the ability to detect wall thinning and tube deformations to some degree, the inspection surface coverage, resolution, minimum wall thickness detection and reporting capabilities may vary drastically from one service provider to the next. Knowing your provider’s capabilities is crucial for ensuring the integrity of your assets, as one refinery recently discovered.

What Is Refractory?
July/August 2016 Inspectioneering Journal
By Jackson Espinoza at Sentinel Integrity Solutions

An explanation of refractory including its uses and recent advancements in abrasion-resistant materials, dry-out/cure times, improved installation methods, and anchoring systems.

Piping Vibration Assessments
July/August 2016 Inspectioneering Journal
By Jacob Manuel, P.E. at Stress Engineering Services, Inc., and Ralph E. King P.E. at Stress Engineering Services, Inc.

An overview of process piping vibration and evaluating piping systems in vibration service to reduce harmful vibrations.

Integrating and Planning Maintenance Activities  in Oil and Gas Installations
September/October 2016 Inspectioneering Journal
By Tata L.N. Murthy at Gujarat State Petroleum Corporation Ltd

For all operators, a system made up of a variety of equipment must be available to carry out continued operations. Planning plays a vital role in the success of major maintenance projects. Integrating all departments in the maintenance plan can save operators time and money, can increase equipment availability, and can help ensure the activities are conducted in a safe and efficient manner.

Fitness for service: a powerful tool to keep your plant running safely
Partner Content

FFS assessment techniques are applicable to a wide range of damage types: LTA's, cracks, creep damage, dents, and more. These are very powerful analytical tools that often allow operators to not only keep the plant running, but to keep it running safely.

July/August 2016 Inspectioneering Journal
By Guy Bogar at HollyFrontier - Tulsa Refinery

Turnarounds operate at a different pace than routine work. Most plant-based inspection departments have historically struggled with Turnaround document control, such as integrating contractor reports into their routine data management system. Our solution was to execute RBI updates in real time during Turnaround execution.

Detection of Defects and Corrosion Under Pipe Supports and Inaccessible Areas Using EMAT Medium Range UT Techniques
May/June 2016 Inspectioneering Journal
By Borja Lopez at Innerspec Technologies, Inc.

In the last few years, electromagnetic acoustic transducer (EMAT) has come to prominence for its ability to quickly scan exposed pipelines for corrosion, cracks, and other defects using medium-range guided waves and without the requirement for liquid couplants.

July/August 2016 Inspectioneering Journal
By Grady Hatton at Versa Integrity Group, and Melissa Guerra at Chevron Products Company

Many plants inspect PRDs on preset intervals as recommended by inspection code API 510, and implement inspection practices such as API RP 576. Just seeking PRD compliance with codes and standards usually results in mediocre mechanical integrity and process safety. Companies must go further to climb the ladder to “excellence.”

The Application of Response Surface Methodology in Modeling Corrosion Rates
May/June 2016 Inspectioneering Journal
By Mohammed Siddiqui at Air Liquide

The main intention of this article is to introduce the Response Surface Methodology (RSM) using some of the elements of critical thinking as a guide. This methodology is not often used in the industry, but can be widely used by corrosion/process engineers to identify hot spots where local maximums of corrosion rates exist.

Ultrasonic Phased Array Tools for  High-Resolution Corrosion Inspection
March/April 2016 Inspectioneering Journal
By André Lamarre at Olympus Scientific Solutions Americas

This article highlights the evolution of corrosion monitoring from conventional ultrasonic to ultrasonic phased array manual and automated solutions and their use for both general purposes and complex applications.

July/August 2016 Inspectioneering Journal
By Neil Ferguson at Hydratight

Joint integrity management remain at the top of many operators’ priority list.  The discipline considers risk and drives safety to ensure we learn necessary lessons from past catastrophic failures, such as the Piper Alpha explosion in 1988, where leaking gas condensate ignited and killed 167 of the 229 people on board the offshore rig.

My Inspection App Can Do What?
January/February 2016 Inspectioneering Journal
By Barbara Lasseigne at Envoc

You probably already know that inspection apps for tablets and smart phones exist, and have notions of how these technologies can improve efficiencies in the field and beyond.

Common Joint Integrity Challenges on CAPEX Projects
May/June 2016 Inspectioneering Journal
By Neil Ferguson at Hydratight

Large scale capital projects present a myriad of challenges for owner-users in the oil and gas and petrochemical industries. Budgets are constantly being stretched and project deadlines are often exceeded. One area that deserves attention from all parties involved is joint integrity management.

Improving Confidence in On-Stream Inspections of Pressure Equipment
May/June 2016 Inspectioneering Journal
By Dr. Yury Sokolov at SVT Engineering Consultants

RBI and NII are designed to achieve significant cost savings and risk mitigation benefits over a piece of equipment’s lifetime in the long term (e.g. through greater reliability and inspection optimization). It is important to strategically consider new NDE technologies to obtain data of sufficient confidence to satisfy the requirements of the risk model.

Creating an Effective Inspection  Recommendation Management System
March/April 2016 Inspectioneering Journal
By Mark Bell at Ethos Mechanical Integrity Solutions, and John Reynolds at Intertek

We have seen many different inspection recommendation management systems. Most of them struggle to effectively manage all inspection recommendations. However, a few of them are excellent. What makes an effective system?

Solutions for Your Facility Inspection Data Management Needs
Partner Content

Owners and operators of complex equipment and facilities need tools to manage the life of their assets. Rigorous inspection is needed to minimize the risk of equipment failure and meet regulatory requirements. It is critical to know...

May/June 2016 Inspectioneering Journal

This paper identifies the attributes and benefits of a data and metrics-driven management system focused on process safety design integrity and reliability relative to loss of primary containment (LOC). This management system process focuses on the four key business drivers of risk (i.e. regulatory compliance, operations, and profits), and involves several distinct business methods involving people, processes, and tools/technology.

July/August 2016 Inspectioneering Journal
By Mike Johnston at T. A. Cook Consultants, Inc.

This article will examine what can occur during the course of a Front Line Supervisor’s day that may hinder the execution of their expected duties, and what can be put in place to overcome those obstacles.

Inspect Yourself into Outstanding Performance
January/February 2016 Inspectioneering Journal
By Grady Hatton at Versa Integrity Group, Donald Brou at Capitol Ultrasonics, and Joe Nichols at Valero Energy

When heading down the path of becoming an inspection professional, it’s helpful to understand the characteristics that truly make someone an outstanding inspector.

Digital Radiography of Welds Using Flat Panel Detector Base Image Sensors
July/August 2016 Inspectioneering Journal
By Sanjoy Das at Bhabha Atomic Research Centre, and D. Mukherjee at Bhabha Atomic Research Centre

The structural integrity of components is controlled by material properties, the presence of flaws, and levels of applied stress. Several factors such as temperature, type of loading, toughness, corrosion resistance, micro-structural stability, cost etc. dictate the suitable material for the desired application.

Reliability and Integrity – Keys to Survival
November/December 2015 Inspectioneering Journal
By Khulani Ndimande at ABB Consulting, and Fernando Vicente at ABB Consulting

This article highlights several benefits of sound reliability and mechanical integrity practices and how they serve as the cornerstone of effective asset management. Moreover, we believe effective asset integrity management is not only important, but essential, to overcoming the challenges presented by operating in the current oil and gas market.

Insights Into Fixed Equipment Vibration – How a Piping System Was Affected by Flow-Induced Vibration
November/December 2015 Inspectioneering Journal
By Dr. Reza Azizian at Engineering & Inspection Services, LLC, and Paolo Torrado at Engineering and Inspection Services, LLC.

Excessive vibration is a problem frequently encountered in industrial plants and their peripheral equipment, including piping systems, pressure vessels, and steel structures. Long term excessive vibration can lead to fatigue crack propagation and consequently, may cause system failure.

Effectively and Efficiently Cleaning Heat Exchangers, Part III
January/February 2016 Inspectioneering Journal
By Harold Marburger at Dunn Heat Exchangers

Heat exchangers operating in refineries or petrochemical plants must be thoroughly cleaned and inspected throughout their operational lifetime to ensure safe and efficient operations.

The Importance of Selecting the Appropriate Inspection Method
November/December 2015 Inspectioneering Journal
By Mike Brown at Sentinel Integrity Solutions

It is often best to rely on properly trained and experienced inspection service providers to determine the proper method for any inspection project. Thus, inspection companies can suggest utilizing the most effective and efficient inspection techniques that will result in the highest probability of detection (POD), while potentially saving the facility operators’ time, effort, and capital.

September/October 2016 Inspectioneering Journal
By James Cheng at Bureau Veritas

Having a systematic, proven methodology for effectively qualifying suppliers is extremely important. Supplier Technical Assessments, or “vendor assessments,” help buyers evaluate suppliers’ qualifications when considering their capabilities to manufacture specified industrial components or provide the desired services.

Advancements in Positive Material Identification Tools Bring Accuracy and Convenience to the Work Site
March/April 2016 Inspectioneering Journal
By Mark Lessard at Thermo Fisher Scientific

In numerous industries that require elemental and material testing, including the oil and gas, power generation, and petrochemical industries, positive material identification (PMI) is at the forefront of any operation. In fact, an increasing number of facilities are adopting a 100% PMI program to ensure that every metal component is made up of exactly the desired chemical composition.

Have you determined whether or not your equipment is subject to Brittle Fracture?
Partner Content

Auto-refrigeration can impose low temperatures onto process vessels and piping causing them to be at risk of brittle fracture, the sudden break-before leak phenomena that can result in catastrophic rupture of the equipment.

Ultrasonic Sensor System for Wall-Thickness Monitoring
March/April 2016 Inspectioneering Journal
By Dr. James N. Barshinger at Sensor Networks, Inc., Bruce A. Pellegrino at Sensor Networks, Inc., and Michael Nugent at Equity Engineering Group

While there are many methods for measuring equipment wall thickness, a predominant method used in the O&G and power generation industries is portable ultrasonic equipment. Ultrasonic testing is non-intrusive because it is applied to the outside of a pipe or vessel. It is an accurate and relatively low cost non-destructive examination (NDE) method to deploy in most situations.

Maintenance Strategies for Aboveground Storage Tanks in Crude Oil Service - Part II
January/February 2016 Inspectioneering Journal
By Melissa Ramkissoon at Petrotrin

In Part 1 of this 2-part series, published in the July/August 2015 issue of Inspectioneering Journal, I discussed corrosion control methods and some effective techniques for inspecting ASTs, and also identified several root causes of AST failures in crude oil service. In this second installment, I will briefly review the costs associated with AST failures and discuss maintenance strategies to help prevent and/or mitigate predictable and unforeseen incidents.

On-Stream Thickness Monitoring Versus Conventional Inspection in Refineries
January/February 2016 Inspectioneering Journal
By Dr. Jake Davies at Permasense Ltd.

Fixed equipment in a refinery can be susceptible to corrosion from the process side, necessitating an inspection strategy to understand the condition of that equipment. Online measurement of pipe and pressure vessel wall thickness is made possible by installing wireless, semi-permanent thickness monitoring sensors.

Clearing out the Data Clutter: How well-maintained data can add value to your reliability program
May/June 2016 Inspectioneering Journal
By Jeffrey Foushee at Pinnacle Advanced Reliability Technologies, and Ryan Myers at Pinnacle Advanced Reliability Technologies

Data, in pure form, consists of raw, unorganized facts that need to be processed. Data can be found in databases, documents, drawings, reports, spreadsheets, and numerous other sources. Having data on hand is useful, however, it’s often inefficient and counterproductive to make decisions based on data in its raw form.

What Does Reliability Mean in 2016?
March/April 2016 Inspectioneering Journal
By Walt Sanford at PinnacleART

Inspectioneering recently had an opportunity to sit down with Walt Sanford, President and COO of Pinnacle Advanced Reliability Technologies, and discuss what Reliability means to his clients and others in our industry. We hope you find the exchange interesting and informative.

An Overview of ISO 55000 - Standardizing Asset Management
November/December 2015 Inspectioneering Journal
By Walt Sanford at PinnacleART

Maximizing return on investment of physical assets, while at the same time operating safely and in an environmentally responsible manner is now more critical than ever for organizations within the heavy process industries.

The Use of Miniature Test Specimens in  Fitness-for-Service Evaluation
May/June 2016 Inspectioneering Journal
By Douglas Marriott at Stress Engineering Services Inc., Shannon Read at Stress Engineering Services Inc., and Arun Sreeranganathan at Stress Engineering Services Inc.

Aging equipment, along with more aggressive service, makes it more important than ever to carry out fitness-for-service (FFS) assessments in support of run/repair/replace decisions. Testing material in the service-degraded condition enables quantification of the material condition and provides increased accuracy in FFS evaluations of these components.

Advanced NDT for Plant Life Assessment
March/April 2016 Inspectioneering Journal
By Mike Brown at Sentinel Integrity Solutions

While there are many types of advanced NDT, this article will focus on the use of acoustics and electromagnetism as the bases for conducting examinations.

Powering Impressed Current Cathodic Protection – Part 2
May/June 2016 Inspectioneering Journal
By Gary Mulcahy at Astrodyne TDI

This is the second article of a two-part series published in Inspectioneering Journal, which is intended to provide a basis for understanding the differences between traditional tapped-transformer, fixed voltage type rectifiers, and High Frequency Switched Mode (HFSM) units, as well as highlight some opportunities for optimization provided by HFSM.

High Temperature Hydrogen Attack (HTHA): Life Assessment Methods for Carbon Steel and Carbon 0.50% Mo Materials
November/December 2015 Inspectioneering Journal
By Ralph E. King P.E. at Stress Engineering Services, Inc., and Brian Olson at Stress Engineering Services Inc.

To ensure the mechanical integrity and fitness-for-service (FFS) of equipment, facility managers, reliability engineers, and inspection technicians must understand the HTHA damage mechanism.

Global, simultaneous inspection with Acoustic Emission Testing
Partner Content

AET is a powerful, non-intrusive inspection technique to verify the structural integrity of pressure vessels, spheres, high-temperature reactors and piping, coke drums, above-ground storage tanks, cryogenic storage tanks, and more.

A Tale of Two Operating Sites – The Difference in Quality of Two FEMI Programs
November/December 2015 Inspectioneering Journal
By John Reynolds at Intertek

Once upon a time in the land of Ooze, there were two processing plants that boiled oil to make fuels and various other valuable petrochemical products. On one side of the river, rests a site called Perfecto Process Plant, while just across the river lies another plant called InZayna Zylum.

Composite Repairs for Offshore Pipelines
November/December 2015 Inspectioneering Journal
By David A. Hunter at Neptune Research, Inc.

This study provides valuable information for offshore pipeline operators curious about how composite repair systems could be utilized with their assets.

Advanced Pipeline Management Software Can Reduce Risks and Improve your Bottom Line
January/February 2016 Inspectioneering Journal
By Vipin Nair at Meridium

Pipeline management remains fraught with safety risks for operators and the environment. Last year, the Ontario Energy Board determined that a $12 billion oil pipeline proposed by TransCanada Corp. would pose more risks than rewards for the province.

Program Evergreening and Sustainability Assistance is Key to Establishing Successful Integrity and Reliability Programs
September/October 2016 Inspectioneering Journal
By Kevin Birkby at PinnacleART

Integrity and reliability personnel at processing facilities are no strangers to initiatives to improve processes in the pursuit of establishing best-in-class reliability programs. It is common practice for operators to enlist help from third parties that specialize in implementation of programs like Risk-Based Inspection (RBI) and Asset Management.

Fired Heater Health Monitoring and  Reliability Management in Challenging Times
March/April 2016 Inspectioneering Journal
By Tim Hill at Quest Integrity Group

Achieving fired heater reliability in conjunction with meeting performance standards can be a challenging feat. Performance is a measure of the degree to which the fired heater is in an operable condition at any given time.

Dry-Coupled Ultrasonic Testing: An Effective, Yet Underutilized NDE Method
November/December 2015 Inspectioneering Journal
By Borja Lopez at Innerspec Technologies, Inc.

While they is very efficient and popular, liquid couplants used for ultrasonic inspection have some inherent limitations and disadvantages. An alternative method to using liquid couplant is Dry-Coupled Ultrasonic Testing (DCUT).

Remaining Life Sensitivity to Longitudinal Weld Seam Peaking in High-temperature Low Chrome Piping
July/August 2016 Inspectioneering Journal
By Phillip E. Prueter at The Equity Engineering Group, Inc., Jonathan D. Dobis at The Equity Engineering Group, Inc., Mark Geisenhoff at Flint Hills Resources, and Dr. Michael S. Cayard at Flint Hills Resources

This article summarizes a recent finite element analysis (FEA)-based study that employs creep simulation techniques to investigate the elevated temperature response of piping with peaked longitudinal weld seams.

Keys to Success: How to Design and Use Effective Reliability and Integrity Program Assessments to Drive Sustainable Improvements
January/February 2016 Inspectioneering Journal
By Walt Sanford at PinnacleART, and Mauricio Olivares at Pinnacle ART

Equipment integrity and reliability programs are essential for refinery and chemical facility operators. The processes of the programs are developed to ensure safety, optimize component life cycles, and promote smooth and economical operations.

November/December 2015 Inspectioneering Journal
By Rick Eckert at DNV GL - North America Oil & Gas

Understanding the common factors that promote corrosion threats in the oil and gas value chain helps operators create effective inspection strategies.

Highlights from API’s 2016 Spring Refining Standards Meeting: Subcommittee on Inspection (SCI)
May/June 2016 Inspectioneering Journal
By John Reynolds at Intertek

This brief article contains updates and highlights related to the Subcommittee on Inspection (SCI) at the 2016 API Spring Refining Equipment and Standards Meeting.

Fitness for service: a powerful tool to keep your plant running safely
Partner Content

FFS assessment techniques are applicable to a wide range of damage types: LTA's, cracks, creep damage, dents, and more. These are very powerful analytical tools that often allow operators to not only keep the plant running, but to keep it running safely.

Laying Off “Safety”: Managing Knowledge Transfer Through the Downturn to Maintain Industry Best Practices
March/April 2016 Inspectioneering Journal
By Greg Fletcher at North Highland Worldwide Consulting, and Josh Arceneaux at North Highland Worldwide Consulting

It is estimated that there have been more than 250,000 layoffs in the oil and gas industry since the price of oil began to drop precipitously in late 2014. With oil not expected to rebound significantly for at least the next year or so, we should be ready for even more workforce reductions. In addition, there is the ongoing reality of baby boomers retiring from the workplace – also known as the impending shift or crew change.

November/December 2015 Inspectioneering Journal
By John Reynolds at Intertek

This article provides a summary of the Subcommittee on Inspection (SCI) discussions that occurred at the Fall 2015 API Refining Standards Meeting, including the Inspection Summit Planning Committee and the API ICP Task Group.

Standardized Pipeline Risk Comparison and Prediction
March/April 2016 Inspectioneering Journal
By Craig Alan Swift, P.E. at Bureau Veritas

The objective of this article is to demonstrate the inherent value of an interactive and detailed GIS landscape, emphasize the importance of industry standardization, and encourage regulatory agencies and operators to systematize and incorporate these technologies to produce a standardized basis of observation for these independently operated systems.

January/February 2016 Inspectioneering Journal
By Mike Johnston at T. A. Cook Consultants, Inc.

It is a generally accepted fact that most Front Line Supervisors (FLS) come up “from the ranks” of the hourly staff. However, most companies provide neither training nor any type of preparation or guidance for the person they have now placed in a supervisory role.

2015 is behind us – Let’s Look Ahead
January/February 2016 Inspectioneering Journal
By Greg Alvarado at Inspectioneering Journal

The enormous decline in oil prices over the past 14 months has definitely slowed projects and changed the energy and production landscape. Despite this, refineries, petrochemical plants, and chemical facilities must continue to run safely, responsibly, and reliably.

Partner Content

Our proprietary furnace tube inspection system, FTIS™, is an ultrasonic inspection technology capable of rapid, automated fired heater coil inspection in refinery fired heaters. The data captured by our furnace tube inspection system is exceptionally powerful when combined with our LifeQuest™ remaining life assessment capabilities, providing an integrated solution set for refinery fired heaters in the refining and chemical industries.

Fitness for service: a powerful tool to keep your plant running safely
Partner Content

FFS assessment techniques are applicable to a wide range of damage types: LTA's, cracks, creep damage, dents, and more. These are very powerful analytical tools that often allow operators to not only keep the plant running, but to keep it running safely.